Looking remarkably like onetime B.F.F. Madonna, the 26-year-old donned black patent leather boots, a sheer blouse and a top hat for a live rendition of “Womanizer” at the Bambi awards in Offenburg, Germany. (Like many pop stars, she seemed to be either lip syncing or singing with the assistance of a loud backing track.)
“Britney looked a little nervous,” said an onlooker. “[But] she had the audience excited.”
After the elaborate routine, legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld emerged to present Spears with the Pop International Bambi (which is, naturally, in the shape of a deer).
“I admire you … not just for your art, but for your energy,” he told her at the podium. “[You are] coming back not only as a phoenix, but as a bird of paradise.”
Spears, still winded from her performance, smiled brightly and waved at the crowd saying, “Thank you, Germany!”
That was the first stop on the singer’s comeback tour, as she promotes her new album, Circus, and continues to put the troubles of the past year behind her.
Even before the awards show had ended, Spears and her dancers hopped a flight to France, where she reportedly holed up at Paris’s luxurious Hotel Plaza Athénee.
On Friday, she reprised the “Womanizer” routine on the top-rated Star Academy, France’s answer to American Idol.
She appeared more comfortable than in her previous evening performance, even though she battled a wardrobe malfunction: her bustier top keep slipping, forcing her to once turn from the audience to fix herself.
Now it’s on to London, where she’ll perform on Simon Cowell‘s hit X Factor.
The singer – who turns 27 on Dec. 2 – will be back in the States in time for her special “Happy Birthday” appearance on Good Morning America.
• With reporting by KAREN NICKEL ANHALT and PETER MIKELBANK